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Ekşili Balık – A Lemony Turkish Fish Stew Recipe #EattheWorld


Welcome to the May 2022 event of  our #EattheWorld project, being spearheaded by Evelyne of CulturEatz. Here's her challenge

This month, we are sharing Turkish recipes, here's the #EattheWorld line-up...

Other Turkish Recipes

I have made some Turkish dishes before, including Soganli Tavuk Yahnisi (Turkish Chicken Stew)Muhallebi, and Turkish Bazlama, photographed above, a delicious flatbread for which I never posted a recipe. Soon! But for this event, I wanted to make a main dish...and I served this on my birthday.

Ekşili Balık
A Lemony Turkish Fish Stew Recipe 

The Turkish word ‘ekşi’ means ‘sour’. And, from my reading there are lots of dishes that fall into that category such as Ekşili Köfte (sour meatballs) and Ekşili Tavuk Corbası (sour chicken soup). But I came across a lemony fish stew that was calling my name.

I have taken a lot of liberties from the recipes I found that was from a restaurant in Fethiye, Turkey. It's more Ekşili Balık-inspired but we loved it and will definitely be making it again. I used halibut because that's what was available at my fish market the day I wanted to make this. I think this preparation would work with any firm-fleshed fish

  • 1 pound halibut fillet, skinned and cut into bite-sized chunks
  • 1 pound mini potatoes, scrubbed
  • 2 anchovy fillets
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 to 4 garlic, pressed
  • 2 cups fish stock (or chicken stock, if you don't fish stock)
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoons saffron threads
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons capers
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh dill, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  • Optional: garlic aioli for serving

In a small bowl, mix the herbs together until well-combined.

In a large soup pot, pour olive oil into the pot and stir in the anchovy fillets. Heat until the anchovies dissolve. Stir in the garlic and pour in the stock, wine, and lemon juice. Float the saffron threads in the liquid and bring to a boil. Add in the potatoes and simmer until easily pierced with a fork, approximately 15 to 20 minutes. 

When the potatoes are done, stir in the fish chunks. Turn the potatoes and fish so that the fish pieces are completely submerged in the simmering liquid. Simmer until the fish is opaque and flakes easily when pressed. 

Remove from heat, stir in the mixed herbs and the capers. Ladle into individual bowls. Serve immediately. Add a dollop of garlic aioli on top if using.

Well, that's a wrap on the May #EattheWorld event. Stay tuned to see where we adventure, by tabletop, next month.


  1. What wonderful bright flavours in this dish. I can imagine how good it tastes with the lemon, saffron, herbs, and wine. I can see why it's a winner!

  2. This is a great, easy to prepare recipe. I am always happy for another fish recipe to try to entice my family.


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